Bradley Wiggins has defended his use of banned substances under medical exemption rules during an interview for BBC, saying he was not looking for “unfair advantage” but merely trying to mitigate the impact of asthma and allergies.
Wiggins has been the subject of allegations of hypocrisy over the timing of the medical interventions since his anti-doping records were among those leaked by cyber hackers Fancybear.
The data leaked relates to Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), which allow athletes to take banned substances for verified medical needs and are signed off by sports federations. There is no suggestion Wiggins has broken any rules.
“This was to cure a medical condition. This wasn’t about trying to find a way to gain an unfair advantage,” Wiggins told BBC. “This was about putting myself back on a level playing-field in order to compete at the highest level.”
The 36-year-old five-times Olympic champion said he had been struggling with his breathing before the 2012 Tour de France and decided to take triamcinolone on medical advice.
“It was prescribed for allergies and respiratory problems,” Wiggins added. “I’ve been a lifelong sufferer of asthma and I went to my team doctor at the time and we went in turn to a specialist to see if there’s anything else we could do to cure these problems. And he in turn said: ‘Yeah, there’s something you can do but you’re going to need authorisation from cycling’s governing body.”
“I think that the sport lives with that, and whoever is leading in the sport at that time, and at the moment it’s Team Sky, they’re leading the way, and you know, they’re setting the standard for everybody. And they’re the best of what they do, and unfortunately when you’re the best of what you do sometimes comes scrutiny. Especially in a sport that has a tainted history.”
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 25, 2016
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